Sure is good to get my sewing machine back! And it works GREAT! I owed a VA wheelchair bag to my Blue Ridge Pieceful Mountain Quilters Guild from a couple months back. We were asked to make bags that loop on the back handles of wheelchairs so military veterans can go from desk to desk with all those papers they have to get processed in order to get their medical benefits organized. They have to wheel their own chairs since there are not enough orderlies or monies for electric wheel chairs. That means they cannot move AND hold all their paper work at the same time. I had some extra fabric so I made two more and put pockets on them. I, myself, always hate fishing around for a pen so maybe these little outer pockets will be handy. The one in the center has a flag patch from the early 1970's--It is VINTAGE!

FMQC November

Practice Paper Printout with continuous line at top and switchbacks at the bottom.
This month's Free Motion Quilt Challenge teacher is Sarah Vedeler. I would show you her designs, but her gift of November's lessons does not include the right for me to grab photos of her work and publish them wherever I wish. Instead, go to her site because she sells designs for quilters featuring hand, machine or embroidered applique.
More Paper Practice

 This month's tutorial is all about spirals and I like spirals, right? Also, BEST OF ALL, my machine is back! After not working in July, August, and September, I took it in to be fixed. Picked it up and it still didn't work. Drove it to Atlanta in October, picked it up in November and IT WORKS!  HOORAY!!! Don't get me wrong, Little 915, I still heart you very much and you were a great stand-in. But I have done mostly hand sewing since the 1630 went to Barry's healing hands.
Large continuous spiral
Anyway, Ms Vedeler had us do large and small spirals in two styles. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Small continuous spiral
Large with switchbacks

Small with switchbacks


I quite like the organic look of the spirals and I could see myself using this as an all-over on a very busy quilt where you couldn't see how my arms and hands shake a little.


I am NOT participating in Black Friday.


We haven't seen any this year, probably due to the huge pack of coyotes roaming the woods behind our house. Anyway, happy TURKEY DAY to you.



Bird in the Hand
photo by Michelle Harrison


So far:
Celestial Seasonings
Cherry-----  * * * 
Peach------  * * * *
Blueberry-- * * * *

Maybe I just prefer Stash and Bigelow. The box is pretty, though. Do you remember when they used to give away a free tin the size of a Sucrets box? I always bought whatever the flavor was even if I hated the tea because the tins were so cute.


Last week:
"I deserve to be happy and I welcome good things in my life"

I sure hope that helped, Special One. 

Me, I have had a great week pursuing interesting activities and playing around on the computer and watching old sci-fi series. One of them reminded me of the physcian's oath: DO NO HARM. Great for a doctor, great for the rest of us, too. Might remind me to pause before a sarcastic remark. Think I will give it a try.


If I thought little quilts were interesting, you can bet I found THIS intriguing. Can't you see it miniaturized? No? Click the link and you get to see all the directions and make your own.

Here is a close up of one of the pumpkins. They used 2.5" blocks but couldn't I use 1.25" blocks and get a finished .75" block? Then each pumpkin would be about 3.75 inches.

No, wait. too small. How about using 1.5" to yield 1" squares and a finished pumpkin about 5 inches across. Great! Let's get started. If you are doing one, don't forget to click that link and go to see the directions I am following. I think I am going to make less of a table runner style and more of a little quilt. Go figure.


Here are those styro ornaments. Yup, it is out of my system. So much that even though I wanted to do something different at the top of this tree, I just don't feel like it anymore. Anyway, fun for a minute. Lots of small piece left over blues and greens. I will have to make a DOLL QUILT! What a great idea.


My local quilt shop, Country Stitches, is featuring a Block of the Month quilt. I can't decide whether or not I want to sign up. I think I do but I really want to see the fabrics first, before I make a yearlong commitment.  The BOM I am considering is called Saturday Soiree, designed by Faye Burgos and the fabrics are from Marcus Brothers. I got this picture from the website of a quiltshop in Rockledge, so if you are in Florida, go visit for me!

This is the way a Block of the Month works. The quilter agrees to pay a set fee and every month she receives enough fabric and the instructions to make a block for a quilt. The blocks all coordinate to make a finished quilt. The quilter provides batting and backing. Below is the collection's 108" wide backing print. Not bad.
It looks like the monthly fee will be about the cost of a yard and a half of fabric each month--but you barely get enough fabric to make the block. Still, that pays for the instructions, also. I have never done one, but Quilty Friend has done a few and I think Tallahassee Quilty Friend probably has done one. I AM still doing the machine quilting challenge once a month but that is no fee and I supply all the materials. I guess I just REALLY need to touch the fabrics. Maybe I can order a sample of them somewhere. If it is the WRONG blue it could be quite a painful, yearlong experience. And you can probably see the above quilt is not in the same family of blue hues as the individual fabrics below. Which is correct? If it is these below, according to my monitor, I will be signing up! Or at least buying the fat quarter bundle.
What do you think of these? It also comes in red but my shop is only featuring the blue for the Block of the Month. I like the blue better, I think. I will probably have a problem with the outer border. I do not care for a lovely quilt that finishes with a wide-ish, muddy medium value, messy,medium scale print. I prefer a solid frame of light or dark value. I could change my mind. After all, look at all the Civil War type prints I have been buying and the traditional blocks I have been considering. NOT ME, NEVER. Never say never.


I've been out every morning this week so today, I am taking "off".  As I write this Wednesday afternoon, I have plans to sleep in Thursday. One of my sisters-in-law, the one I sent the wool and bamboo yarn cowl to, sent me some nutritional supplement and a calming tea to try. Yesterday I tried a little of each and got a solid 6 hours of sleep! I will keep it up all week and see how it goes. Sometimes you just need a one week adjustment to reset all the dials.     
Meanwhile, I am still enamored with small quilts. I have several small quilt books including these. All are published by That Patchwork Place. 

When I have to decided on a book without actually getting the chance to thumb through it I can always be sure that if it is published by That Patchwork Place, it is a GREAT book.  This first book, Bits and Pieces, by Karen Costello Soltys, has so many great little quilts in it, I wanted to make them all. I had not looked at it in several months and Friday, I found myself  practically recreating one of her little quilts just with the three colors I bought as inspiration.
The Paper Pieced Mini Quilts book is a little daunting. I know how to paper-piece (this book means foundation piece, really) but it takes some prep and the right mindset. Still, there are some lovely ideas and with patience, I could enjoy the final product. I am more likely to find something in Little Quilts, though. It is written by some ladies who live not far from here. I do not know if they still have their quilt shop, but I am willing to find out. It is only about a two hour drive. When dog food and groceries are a half hour drive and the nearest family is an 11 hour drive, going two hours for another quilt shop is NOTHING.


Working on lots of little things including these silly styrofoam ornaments. Never thought I would want to do these, but I do.  Never say never. I started them way early last week so I picked up some Whoville looking blues and greens.
I got that all figured out quickly enough and woke up Friday to discover that I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to make a doll quilt. Of course, I needed just a little tiny bit of fabric and it would be the inspiration. 
I decided to applique 2" circles on 3" squares. How could I go any other way but circles when I found this pretty little fat eighth? I had a lot of fun making perfect circles. I found that three layers of freezer paper worked just as well as the mylar templates but getting them out the back after appliqueing was still tricky


Better than the Celestial Seasoning Cherry, I am drinking peach this week. It has a hint of ginger, as some peach teas do. It does want to be tasted with some cookies...


Monday Mantra

This is for you, Special One.

Keep saying to yourself, "I deserve to be happy and I welcome good things in my life"

Last week it was Check the List. Didn't do me much good but I will try to keep it in the back of my mind this whole next two months. 


11.11.12 Taters!


This is weird. I suddenly have the urge to make doll quilts. I don't even care for baby dolls.

If I want, I could go HERE for some free patterns.

The doll is a Gail Wilson Doll.  You can get the little quilt pattern HERE. Go ahead, click on it. It is free!

Here is a blog post about someone who made a quilt a month for a YEAR!

This is the Kathleen Tracy November quilt. I am tempted, especially because of the alternate block hand stitching.


That's Headley
Named for Hedley Lamarr from Blazing Saddles, immortalized by Harvey Korman, Headly performs his tribute to autumn. As I have said before, our own autumn this year was pretty, but not spectacular. We didn't see the blaze of color everywhere. That made it all the more precious when it peeked through the rusty browns more representative of fall 2012.
Rusty oaks. They went from yellowish right to rust skipping all the other colors.Some of the leaves still have a lot of green .


"A deep ruby-red swirl brimming with fresh cherry and juicy berry flavors."

I bought a Celestial Tea sampler and I have had this one twice. It is very okay.

I thought AT LAST NO MORE PHONE CALLS FROM THE RNC when I finally get a chance to sleep in. I do not know who it was that called me at 7:30 this morning (Wednesday, actually), but it if was you, you can be satisfied that you wrecked my 6.5 hours of sleep.

Does anyone know how to get off the list? There used to be a DO NOT CALL registry. I need to re-register.




Why not.


Etching of the H. M. S. Pandora--sent to capture H.M.S. Bounty mutineers, is the first ship in recorded history to founder off the coast of Queensland.

Last week's Mantra: I CHOOSE SLEEP. Did it serve me well? I may have slept less if I had not had that phrase to rely on but who knows. Still having some sleeping issues including one night where I just never got sleepy so I just didn't go to bed. That means I have a lot of time to fill. I think I need to go back to my list and make some of those obligations into priorities. This week my "go-to" phrase will be 
The Walter William May lists and founders in the Arctic

Troublesome BACK ISSUES have really slowed me down this past week. You may have noticed fewer blog posts. In fact, the only ones that posted were ones written previous to last Saturday. Nothing like intense pain and lack of REM sleep to mess up the ability to communicate effectively. Well, I have a lot of hand work on my list as well as machine work and cutting out sorts of things to do. Cutting out uses the most back muscles, so out of necessity, I will be skipping those on the list. Machine work may get a chance but that is fairly back intensive, also, so we will see. At any rate, when I have the chance, I will

Ellan Vanin lists, founders, breaks her back. Read more about her at the Whitehaven Tall Ships website.